PSG, a return of dunces



A goal from Julian Draxler at the end of extra time, and PSG finally garners its first points for its third league game. A 1-0 victory, Wednesday, September 16, at the end of a very dull game at the Parc des Princes against Metz. It avoids the crisis, temporarily, but does not solve anything.

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PSG will continue to advance on a thread, for a few more weeks, with a sparse workforce: the blame for injuries, Covid-19 and the sanctions imposed by the disciplinary committee of the Professional Football League (LFP).

Balanced sanctions

The latter fell, inevitable after this sinister PSG-OM of last September 13, which ended in an unworthy general fight. On the Parisian side, the heaviest penalty is for left-back Layvin Kurzawa, who started hostilities by attacking Marseille’s Jordan Amavi: 6 suspension games, against three for the Olympian who replied. For midfielder Leandro Paredes, sent off after two yellow cards, the price is three games of suspension, one of which is suspended.

Same punishment for Neymar, also excluded for a pat on the back of the neck of Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzales but above all for an electric behavior throughout the meeting. For both players, the reprieve will be lifted if they receive any warning during the ten games following their return to the field.

Suffice to say that the future remains uncertain, especially as two cases are pending. The LFP wants to take the time to investigate the case on the insults allegedly uttered by Alvaro Gonzales and Neymar. The Brazilian star ensures that the Olympian made racist remarks. But Neymar could for his part have slipped with homophobic remarks.

“We will take our responsibilities if we have sufficient information”, promised Sébastien Deneux, the chairman of the disciplinary committee. Who also intends to further analyze the case of Angel Di Maria, images revealing that he spat in the direction of Alvaro Gonzales. The Argentine striker, summoned on September 23, risks six games of suspension.

An untenable collective

If we add to these possible complications the severe knee injury Wednesday night of the back Juan Bernat, that to the adductors of Marco Verratti, and the questions about the form of Kylian Mbappé, tested positive for Covid-19 in the French team last September 7 and who has just resumed training on Thursday September 17, we can imagine the puzzle to come for coach Thomas Tuchel, and this from Sunday September 20 with the next Ligue 1 meeting against Nice.

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PSG, an extremely rich club in the locker room of millionaires, lacking depth of bench? We think we are dreaming. But such is the situation after this unbelievable sequence which must make Europe smile. The club managed in less than a month to squander the credit acquired during its campaign in the Champions League. Something is still missing from this collective.

It has certainly climbed to the continental final this season, but behind: the Parisians on vacation in Ibiza, with yacht and glitter like a bad reality show; Parisians victims of the coronavirus as simple students after the integration party at the start of the year; the Parisians who suddenly miss their return (0-1 against the promoted Lensois); and the Parisians who lose their nerves in the face of Marseille.

In other words: an untenable collective, both outside and on the ground. PSG is still dragging a management problem, no offense to sporting director Leonardo and strategist Thomas Tuchel, rather helpless against their group. PSG is not the only club to have to manage a host of stars. But he obviously struggles more than elsewhere with class life.

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